Jos Bitumen Archive Window – Issue 16

These poems and fragments were found in a cat-litter tray in Jos’s old boarding school. It is thought that one of his critics put the stuff in the house cat’s tray as a thinly-veiled critique of Jos’s attempts at avant-garde romantic poetry and prose.
They chart something of his plunge to the darkness after he was scathingly chastised by his form master, who was heard by all to bellow,”Bitumen, just what do you think you are achieving by scratching your romanticism on your desk?”
Jos’s witty retort but comparatively futile gesture, of “Poetic Libation, sir,” received short shrift as he was caned within an inch of his lexicon.
The tortured juvenilia is clear to see and hear in Jos’s clear defiance of convention by calling on a conservatism of contradiction.

Rose’s are red
Violet’s are blue
Staring at undergarments is nothing new.

Another example along the same lines was:

We made our way to a paradise on a lovely steam train
Too soon we went from sun-yessing to thunder-arguments
We talked and talked, maybe we should have kissed
When I beat you at conkers, you got your knickers in a twist
Although, when you made me smaller with your disdain
It meant I could see more of your undergarments.

This period became known as Jos’s seven-year itch. Also, it was when Jos developed a keen interest in the early progress made in the advancement of making the hovercraft. His tutor analysed this as a psychological obsession with underskirts and anything that floated underneath the surface.

When Margarita flounced past with her skirts all atwirl
The ignoramuses only tittered and nervously laughed
They didn’t know how to handle the sight of a girl
Even if she moved as gracefully as a hovercraft

The last gem in this archival haul was a lovely piece about Jos’s growing sullenness over the courting ritual:

I was feeling lonely and seeking a mate
I needed someone to do between five and eight
Post pictures, petting and peevish prattling, I found
I was out of pocket by at least one pound.

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